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for just the eighth time in history, annual voting for the baseball hall of fame has produced a shut out. the baseball writers of america say no today to barry bonds, no to roger clemens and no to sammy sosa. in fact, they said no to all of the nominees. also, no to slugger mark mcguire. they might have been considered a shoe-in except for allegations of steroid use can be considered an inclusion in future elections to the hall of fame. let's take a quick look at the big board here. we have the dow before the "closing bell" in a matter of seconds. up 61 points. right at 13,390 for the day. you can always follow me
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on @brookeb. got to be with you. now to wolf blitzer in washington. wolf? brooks, thanks very much. happening now -- >> when we hit the dock, everybody went flying. >> all of a sudden we just hit. boom. and people were catapulted forward. >> the search for answers as to why a packed ferry boat didn't stop in time, crashing into a dock and injuring dozens of new york city commuters. also, vice president joe biden hears from the victims of gun violence. still to come, the nation's biggest gun seller and the nra. plus, from my visit to egypt, the writing on the wall, the graphite in tahrir square tells the story of a revolution that many fear is going wrong. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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we begin right here in washington with important news. the vice president joe biden met with victims of gun violence and gun safety advocates. they spent several hours over at the white house trying to prepare the task force for recommendations to the president. they are deeply worried public sentiment for changing the nation's gun laws is fading too quickly despite the connecticut school massacre and other mass shootings over the past year or two. the vice president revealed his task force on curbing gun violence. is considering measures the president can take without having to wait for any congressional action. let's bring in our cnn white house correspondent brianna keilar. she's working the story for us. what are you hearing? >> reporter: wolf, i'm told that
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there is very much a sense in this meeting between vice president joe biden and advocates of gun control as well as those who have suffered gun violence themselves or lost loved ones to it that there was actually very much a sense that this was an opportunity to do something and they believe they have a bit of, i guess you could say, a mandate to do something because of poll numbers showing the public opinion has shifted in this. the news that the vice president made today was that the white house is looking to go it alone, at least in some ways as it chooses to tackle this problem. go it alone without congress' help and observers of this debate, as you know, have said that this is definitely a possibility but biden today confirmed that it's something the white house is pursing. here's what he said. >> i want to make it clear that we are not going to get caught up in the notion unless we can do everything we're going to do nothing. it's critically important. the president is going to act, executive orders, executive
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action can be taken. we haven't decided what that is yet but we're compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and all the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action we believe is required. >> reporter: now, folks outside of the white house who are familiar with the possibilities that the white house may pursue say that could have to do with reporting of statics to the federal database to make sure that people who should not be able to purchase weapons cannot to further strengthen the database. but the white house at this point staying very mum on specifics. jay carney saying he doesn't want to get ahead of this task force that is under a deadline for specific proposals to the president at the end of the month. one source familiar with the meeting, wolf, told me that officials are still at this point mulling over ideas. they really haven't come to conclusions about which solutions to pursue and part of that is because there are very real legal issues, both having to do with the constitutionality
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of what the white house can push for and also legal issues because there is mental health at stake here, mental health issues which bring up privacy issues. so there's a lot for them to sort through. there this is a meeting that was only supposed to go for an hour and it went for an hour and 45 minutes. >> do you have any sense, having heard that, what congress will most likely get through congress? >> reporter: there's a consensus -- and we heard this from the director of the brady campaign today -- that showing that gun show loophole. meaning right now, you can do so without a background check. this is how many weapons are purchased in the u.s. one of the people here at this meeting today, colin goddard, a victim shot four times at norris hall. he said this was a large part of the discussion. >> what you can do at gun shows,
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you can do that over the internet, newspaper classify ads. that doesn't really sole have the bigger problem of the larger unchecked gun sales in the country. the executive action, i think the president is looking at really anything he can do. >> reporter: so that's something that the white house feels they will have support for. >> okay. brianna, we'll watch the story for us. we also learned today the president has decided to nominate his current white house chief of staff, jack lew to secede timothy geithner. gloria, do we expect any serious opposition? >> well, there are going to be republicans who oppose him. senator sessions, the ranching republican on the budget committee came out and said he would not support jack lew.
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>> because? >> because of his testimony before the deficit committee and that the budget could be reduced. he said that's evidence that jack lew should not be confirmed. particularly on these fiscal matters, he did run the office of budget during the debt ceiling negotiations and i remember from covering those debt ceiling noish ags that republicans didn't like him very much, wolf. some of them said to me that jack lew kept moving the goal posts on them. yes, there will be opposition. for chuck hagel, no. i believe in the end jack lew will get confirmed. but i'll tell you this, the reason the white house put off the announcement of jack lew until tomorrow is because of the fiscal cliff. they didn't want it to get involved in the negotiations for the fiscal cliff. they felt that they already had
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a fight on their hands. they didn't want to add any fuel to the fire on that, which is why they've held off of the nomination until this week. they do expect him to get confirmed and so do i. >> john kerry, secretary of state. we've got a lot of white males, shall we say, chuck hagel, we have pictures up there. jack lew, eric holder is over at the justice department. he's not a white male. he's an african-american. but no women. >> men. men. >> i want to put up another picture of the seen yr staff, if you will. there you you he sue the staff. there's been mur muring that there's not enough women part of this white house, the inner circle. what are folks saying about that? >> the visual you just showed with the four cabinet members being men, the problem there, it's not an opportune visual for the white house and they will readily admit it. particularly because you're replacing secretary of state hillary clinton with a man. but jay carney came out today and said the president
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understands diversity is important and he pointed to janet napolitano at homeland security, kathleen sebelius who runs hhs, the health department, susan rice at the united nations. so there's another visual for you, wolf, of women. but i've been told by a few sources, as i've been looking into these cabinet appointments, that they are really actively going after a woman to run the commerce department which is another key cabinet position. so they are on the hunt for women. >> the "new york times" did an analysis of female high level appointees over the past three administrations and they said the obama and clinton administration had 43% compared to the bush administration which had a 33% rate. so obviously things for women are improving. >> that's what they say. and there's another picture that ran in the "new york times" todays. i'm not sure if we have it but there's a picture -- there it is. there's a picture that ran in the "new york times" today. again, another visual that the
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white house doesn't like. if you look closely, wolf, there's a leg there in front of the president's desk and that's valerie's leg. that's a really important leg because she's a key adviser to the president. she has his ear and she is the first among equals in many circles. so that is a visual they didn't like but they point out valerie jarrett in that picture. to me the question is, do they listen to the women? they have. we have some evidence that they do and we have some evidence that they haven't. >> i know the president listens to valerie jarrett. you can argue she alone is worth four or five of those men. >> that's what bothers them, by the way. >> she has a lot of influence.
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she's very loyal to the president and she has his ear and the first lady's ear. let's not forget the first lady herself. she's obviously an important person in the white house. >> you bet. a deadly flu outbreak and cities and towns declaring a state of emergency. this is scary stuff we're watching. the virus killed a teenage athlete that had been in perfect health. and just when it seems like things haven't gotten any worse for syria, winter hits. [ male announcer ] this is bob, a regular guy with an irregular heartbeat. the usual, bob? not today. [ male announcer ] bob has afib: atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem, a condition that puts him at greater risk for a stroke. [ gps ] turn left. i don't think so. [ male announcer ] for years, bob took warfarin, and made a monthly trip to the clinic to get his blood tested. but not anymore.
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air. another witness describes the aftermath as a lot of bleeding heads with white bandages. cnn's alison kosik is on the scene for us. alison, how did this happen? >> that's what crime scene investigators and ntsb are trying to figure out. there's going to be a press conference in minutes given by the ntsb. everyone is trying to figure out how this ferry carrying 300 passengers crashed into the dock in new york be city around 8:45's this morning. not only did it send passengers flying in the air inside this boat, it's caused a huge gash in the hull of the boat itself. the coast guard says a tracking device shows that this vessel was coming in too fast, that it was coming in up to 15 miles per hour, which the coast guard official says is too fast when you're docking a boat. we did talk with the head of the company who says that the
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captain who was at the control of this vessel was in control or in command of this vessel when it did crash hitting one loading dock and then hitting a second loading dock. this captain, by the way, has been with this company for about ten years. a breathalyzer was performed on the captain. it came back negative and preliminary breathalyzers were conducted on five crew members and those also came back negative. wolf? >> we have tapes of eyewitness survivors. let me play that and then we'll discuss. >> everybody who was standing fell forward and people that were in their seats got thrown forward. >> basically, it was, you know, 60 to 0. i don't know how fast we were going and usually it sloefs down a little bit, people get up to get off the boat and that's what the problem was. when we hit the dock, everybody
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went flying. so that's why we had so many injuries, you know, people got thrown downstairs and that's where most people got hurt. >> i was actually sleeping. all of a sudden we just hit, boom. and people were catapulting forward. >> i was standing up and i went backwards and hit chairs and then people landed on top of me. it was normal approach. >> and then what happened? >> just a sudden crash. >> you know, alison, i guess a lot of people are saying despite the fact that 57 people are injured, two critically, given what we were seeing there, it could have been a whole lot worse. >> it could have been. but you can only imagine how terrifying this is. think about it, these people do this commute every day. this is an every single day thing. it came out of know where and here's what sort of adds to the
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injuries. when a boat comes in to dock, a lot of people stand up, they are getting ready to get off the boat. those people were standing and they stumbled down the stairs. this ferry is two floors. she saw people lying on the floor everywhere. >> what a scary, scary moment indeed. alison, thank you for that update into a growing deadly flu outbreak here in the united states in years. in massachusetts alone, there have been almost 208 flu-related 20 flew-related deaths. a perfectly healthy 17-year-old boy is wondering how this common treatable virus could take the life of their son. elizabeth cohen is joining us. she spent the morning with the
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family. elizabeth, how did this happen? >> reporter: wolf, it was such an emotional morning. i'm in front of the church that the family attends. mack was 17. that personified who he was. as you said, perfectly healthy. on december 21st he started feeling sick, a headache, a little bit tired. he had a fever but really no big deal and he was better in about two days and he then he felt fine for a while. and then a couple days later he started feeling bad again. his parents took him to a local hospital in the rural area they were in and they said he's got the flu and his kidneys are failing. they said, we have to get him to a bigger hospital. they put him on a helicopter and this is what max said to his mother as he was getting on the helicopter. >> one of the last coherent things he said, he looked at me and tears were rolling down his face. >> he was scared. >> he said, mom, i'm scared. i said, i know, buddy. i am, too.
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he said, mom, it's going to be okay. you're going to be okay. i love you. >> reporter: max was in the hospital for four days in intensive care. doctors fought for his life but, unfortunately, he didn't make it. he developed a bacterial infection as a result of that flu and he died on december 29th. wolf? >> yesterday -- this is such a sad story. yesterday, elizabeth, dr. anthony fauci, a real expert on the flu and other infectious diseases, he told me that maybe 40,000 people will die from the flu this year. it looks like a pretty bad season. did they actually die from the flu or secondary infections that they develop as a result of the flu? >> reporter: wolf, they actually die from both. some people like max died from secondary bacterial infections. either way, they died because they got the flu. that 40,000 number i've been hearing from other people. this is going to be a moderate
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to severe year. usually about 36,000 people a year die from the flu. so 40,000 sounds like it's in the ballpark. this strain of flu is particularly severe. >> the doctor says it's not too late. sanjay gupta says it's not too late. it's late but you can still get one that could potentially save your life. this is a very, very serious problem. much more coming up in the next hour as well. elizabeth, be thank you. today the secretary of state hillary clinton made her first public comments since returning to work on monday. she had been off of work for more than three weeks. first for a stomach virus which caused her to fall and suffering a concussion which was then followed by treatment for a blood clot in her head. >> i've really missed you all. i wouldn't say that -- i wouldn't say that under normal circumstances. i am thrilled to be back and i
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am also incredibly grateful to this fabulous team that i have here at the state department who never missed a beat for the time that i was away and we are focused on continuing our work, finishing up everything that we can and helping senator kerry with his transition. >> secretary clinton was asked if she's also looking forward to retirement, she replied, and i'm quoting her now, i don't know if that's the word i would use. she's not going to retire. she added she'll be stepping off the very fast track for a little while, though. she deserves a rest and we hope only the best for her. the venezuelan president is so sick he can't attend his own inauguration. in fact, he's not even in the country. but now a major decision may keep chavez in power for years to come. cnn paula newton is in the capital of caracas joining us
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now. what did the supreme court decide? >> reporter: the way they interpret the inauguration, he he doesn't have to be here tomorrow. it starts his new term even though he's not in the country. his vice president will be at the helm. the cabinet will be in place. they will continue to make decisions from the government. if hugo chavez could have crawled to his inauguration, he would have. he is that ill. he couldn't come in a wheelchair, he couldn't come in an i.v. he couldn't come with doctor and thursdays at his side. for that reason, though, the supreme court has made this determination that his term will start anyway. and, again, we don't know. we're in unchartered waters constitutionally and many worry what that will mean for the political road ahead. >> paula, thanks very much for that report. paula newton on the scene for us. we'll continue to monitor that story. a great white shark is spotted off the florida coast but it's where it came from that may surprise you.
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excuse me, sir i'm gonna have to ask you to power down your little word game. i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly. ok, did she seriously just say that? geico. just click away with our free mobile app.
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all right. this just coming into "the situation room". another member of president
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obama's cabinet has resigned. who is it, gloria? >> it's labor secretary hilda solis. we've been hearing whispers about this during the day. she finally sent a letter to the president and said, after much discussion with family and close friends, i've decided to begin a new future and return to the people and places i love and that have inspired and shaped my life and that is her family in california. we were told earlier in the day that she had spent christmas really thinking about what she was going to do and it's no surprise, wolf, that you have this kind of a turnover at the start of a new term. so hilda solis. and we were talking earlier about women in the cabinet and in the administration. this is another high-profile woman who is stepping aside. >> and a letter just came out from the white house praising.
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>> and there's no effective date on this, wolf. what this means is, she's not going to leave until the white house can kind of smooth the way for somebody else. so i wouldn't be surprised if she remained for some time until there's a replacement. as you know, they've got a whole lot of confirmation fights they have to deal with right now. >> chuck hagel, john brennan. >> right. >> john kerry, jack lew, you reported earlier he's the nominee for treasury secretary. and there may be other resignations in the cabinet. >> i think that's fair to say. i think this is a logical time and there are rumblings of other changes in the cabinet which we're pursing and i think it's fair to say that i'm expecting another shoe or two to drop, wolf. but i -- look, this is what happens when you get into a second term. people take stock, they decide if they are going to stay, do they stay for one year, two years, or do they decide to
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leave and just allow the president to make some changes at the start of a second term. >> and the second term of the bill clinton administration, major cabinet changes, major changes at the bush administration, and now sect term of obama administration major changes as well. i'm sure there will be other changes. senior officials in the white house, less than cabinet level. >> well, you know, we're going to see a new chief of staff. so there are -- >> jack lew, if he's confirmed -- any names out there for chief of staff? >> you know, dennis has been raised. so i think, yes, you're going to see -- be the thing that's interesting to me, wolf, is that we're not inside the white house. nobody's talking about bringing people from the outside in to really change the way the white house operates. what you see is a lot of sort of shifting of jobs rather than taking people the president doesn't know and bringing them in. and this all goes back to the
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point that we were talking about with chuck hagel and jack lew. the president in a second term wants a certain comfort level with the people both inside the white house and who served in his cabinet. he wants people he feels comfortable and that he can trust. >> he's entitled to that. he's president of the united states, to paraphase someone else, good to be president. two years ago it was a symbol of hope and now tahrir square is dirty and depressing and the graffiti tells a story you're going to want to hear. stand by. and how president obama may be helping joe biden to get ready for 2016. using cloud computing and mobile technology, verizon innovators have developed a projective display for firefighters. allowing them to see through anything. because thworld's biggest challenges
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i'm wolf blitzer. here are some of the stories we're workinging on for our next hour. we're going to hear live from a woman who saw others thrown through the air in the ferry in new york city. your bank may have been a target of a cyber attack from iran and it could happen again. plus, performers who will be singing for the president's second inauguration. stand by. you're in "the situation room." during the arab spring two years ago, tahrir square became the heart of egypt's revolution. no one will forget the demonstrators crowding into the square day after day risking their lives and demanding freedom and democracy. but when i visited egypt last weekend, be i found tahrir square to be a much different and depressing place. i stood in tahrir square a few
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days ago. the symbol of the revolution was largely deserted. it looked very different two years ago during those intense days leading up to the overthrow of the egyptian president, hosni mubarak. tank and snipers all over the place. hundreds of egyptian protesters killed. and then it was over. the arab spring had come to egypt. those were days of high optimism. i was in egypt with secretary of state hillary clinton a few weeks after the revolution. we walked around tahrir square with little security. egyptians were thrilled to see her. i remember the near euphoria when she went to the embassy to thank the diplomats for their hard work during their
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tumultuous days. >> madam secretary, what did you think of tahrir square? >> it was exciting and moving to go to tahrir square and to have some sense of what those amazing days must have been like here in cairo and i am so looking forward to helping in any way that we can in this transformation and all the work that needs to be done. >> that was then. this is egypt now. huge concrete blocks surround all erances to the u.s. embassy. that graffiti reads, no morsi, free egypt, free palestine. no america. last september, anti-american protesters scaled the walls and burning the american flag. president obama had to personally phone president morsi to get the egyptian military and police finally to stop the assault and protect the american staff. security is very tight at the
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embassy now. >> come on over here. you can see -- we can walk over, you can see the barricades outside the embassy and if you take a look, right behind those barricades you can see the american flalg flying on the u.s. embassy grounds. it's a huge complex over there. it's one of the largest u.s. embassies in the world. you can see more barricades over here. we're only, what, half a block or so from tahrir square. we're heading over there right now. i went back to tahrir square with cnn's ian lee who is based in cairo and covered the revolution. >> about 60 yards, 70 yards, you have the embassy this way. >> there were folks still living in tents but there was no traffic and few protesters. ian, give me a little tour of tahrir square because we're going to walk around and we can see the tents. there are folks still here but this is a lot different than it used to be? >> this is completely different than it used to be. right now we have remnants of the protests that we saw before
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the constitutional referendum. people were really upset with president mohamed morsi and wanted the cancellation of the referendum. this isn't really what -- what we're seeing right now isn't really popular amongst the people. if you go outside tahrir square, most people say the square should be open and functioning again, it's the heart of the city. but there are still a lot of people upset with the president and we're seeing -- >> so these folks here in these tents, these are the opposition to president morsi? >> yeah, a lot of them are the opposition but they don't make up a lot of the opposition. it ranges from poor people to wealthy people. >> all right. so we're you can walking around tahrir square and obviously i remember when i was here, i guess it must have been -- that was two years ago right after mubarak fell. i came here with hillary clinton and she just walked right in and
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it was very upbeat, it was very confident, everyone was pleased with what was going on. there seemed to be an unusually euphoric attitude but it's changed dramatically since then. >> it has changed. the country is deeply divided between the people who oppose him and support him. the whole euphoric stage wasn't going to last long. the people were going to be divided because there are very different groups going for power. it wasn't going to last long. we've really seen in the last month egypt become very divided. >> on the walls around tahrir square, the graffiti tells the story of this egyptian revolution. i took another tour with an egypt tour guide here in cairo. >> tell us what we're seeing over here. >> you know, one of the key demands was to clean up the police because the criminal activity of the police and nefarious activities are involved and here it says, police are still criminal.
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so they have not restructured yet and you still have massacres, some violations of human rights. >> these are some of the people that were can killed during the revolution? >> yeah. and afterwards as well. then you have the president in that garb of farrows. here you have morsi. >> yeah, president morsi. i see. >> and beneath invalid, like illegitimate. >> so these are anti-president morsi graffiti. >> yes. and then you have no for the constitution of the brother. it is how hard is that wall when it tries us in the face of the sunrise, you might spend your whole -- your entire life to
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make a hole in that wall so that light passes for generation. but for this wall, you wouldn't have appreciate the free light. >> and who is this? >> those are the officers of the revolution. you know, during the revolution last year, some officers defected and they said mubarak, we are not supporting you and they were arrested immediately. >> interesting. >> here you have this gentleman who is fighting. he's painting to fight oppression while the general is attacking him. >> we're going to have much more of my visit over the weekend to cairo and much more of my exclusive interview with the egyptian president mohamed morsi coming up in the next hour. i asked him why supposedly free and democratic egypt, three of his most prominent critics are
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now being investigated for treason. you're going to want to hear what he has to say on that, the plight of christian cops living in egypt coming up in the next hour. up next, vice president joe biden says they can bypass congress, the obama administration, and act on gun control by the president issuing executive orders. but is that a good idea? our strategy session is next.
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just coming in, more information about the obama cabinet during this second term. cnn has just learned that at least three more members of the cabinet have decided to stay, including the attorney general eric holder, the secretary of veterans affairs eric shenseky and kathleen sebelius. all three of them will stay in the cabinet but there's a lot of movement as we've been reporting, as you know. joining us, cnn contributor, paul begala and david frum, a former white house speechwriter under george h.w. bush. first of all, this is not a
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surprise, paul, that there's a lot of changes. >> change is good. the president ran on changes and this is a very healthy thing. i think it's noteworthy that two of the three things you mentioned, very controversial and clearly the president still has enormous confidence in them and this does sort of say, okay, back off, republicans, these are two controversial members that i have and i have their back. >> the president seems to be going for a more high confrontational approach the the chuck hagel nomination is i think the most outspoken out there example of that. as you say, eric holder, this is not a president saying i want -- i'm holding out my hand. this is the president saying, talk to the hand. >> perhaps he saw -- i know he saw the steven spielberg movie "lincoln" which president lincoln says, i am the re-elected president clothed in immense power. >> the president doesn't have to
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worry about getting re-elected a third time. he can do a lot. >> there's another scene that is not a movie. it's the scene of harry truman sitting at his desk just before he left and losing and say, poor ike, do this, do that, and nothing will happen. presidents have the power to persuade. the president may be feeling very inflated right now. obviously he is. but the grind of politics and congress is the stronger branch. let's talk about the vice president of the united states. he spoke out on his task force to deal with the issue of guns. listen to what he said today. >> the president is going to act. executive orders, executive action can be taken. we haven't decided what that is yet but we're compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and all the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action we believe is required. >> now, executive orders, the president just signs it.
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it's done. he doesn't need congress to pass legislation. that's the positive side for a president. the down side is the next president can sign an executive order repealing that earlier executive order. is this smart strategy on the part of the vice president? >> no, it's terrible. i referenced a moment ago the inflated sense that the president has. i'm in favor of change and the way america regulates guns. when that change comes, it will come on the model of mothers -- the way mothers against drunk driving changed the way we dealt with alcohol and cars. from outside the political system, something that does not pit republicans against the democrats. the more the president makes this signature issue and puts its face on it, the more it intensifies which is already enough. >> paul, let me read what you wrote in "the daily beast." if you can't protect your home with three shot, you're not going to be able to do it with 30. the only purpose, to cause mass
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killing and they must be banned. >> meaning these you can relead after three or four shot. i know, i'm a hunter. you never get 30 shots on an animal. if you do, the animal is already dead. and it's used for self-defense. so they must be banned. they were banned for a time and then that law expired, sadly, and the second amendment is set up just fine. as a gun owner myself, i think it's imperative and i think david makes a good point about the politics of it. the more the president's name is on it, the more it will outrage the right. at the same time, he has an obligation to protect his fellow americans and i am for him using his executive authority which comes from congress. it's not dick tore yell. congress passes all of these laws but then gives the president. >> you said, what's the debate
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really about? it's really about guns or should be. what's wha do you mean by that? >> the "new york times" had this room for debate, what douns say about american society. what are the deep psychological reasons that some people are on one side and some on the other. the more we focus on the practical the better we will be. there are important reasons that guns are protected by the constitution. hunting is a treasured american folkway. people have a right, if they are responsible and can defend themselves, this is not a debate about the place of guns in american society. but how can you without burdening legitimate gun rights unduly make society safer? >> you know, here's a little con spir tore yell theory that some of us have thought of. i'll walk it by, you paul. the president likes joe biden a lot. joe biden, i think would like to be president 2016. he played a decisive role in
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averting the fiscal cliff, got a lot of praise for that. now the president has asked him to do this task force on guns. is the president boosting joe biden to get a boost in would he like joe biden to secede him? >> he has the most important faith he can have in vice president biden but i think it's getting too far out there, too far out for your skis, wolf. because this president -- now, i worked for bill clinton who did clear the field for al gore and gore won but by -- >> i was thinking the bill clinton/al gore -- i don't think al gore necessarily was thankful enough to the president for doing that but that's another story. let me let david weigh in. >> i don't see this president doing that, no. i don't think he's going to try to anoint vice president biden. >> iowa, new hampshire three
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years. >> this gun task force will be a great success and it is not going to be a great success so it's not a favor for joe biden. >> maybe i'm a little too con spir tore yell. i suspect the president would like joe biden to be the next president. he would probably like joe biden to be the next president than hillary clinton. >> more than hillary clinton would want biden or -- >> no, who would he vote for? who do you think he would vote for? >> i haven't the slightest -- i can't read this man's mind. >> this i won't guess but i will say it is interesting that he did not choose a younger person as his second term vice president if he does want to shape the party. >> we'll see. >> thanks very much. it's a story that outraged many. the only man in custody for the attack on the u.s. consulate benghazi attack in libya is set free. now we're learning disturbing details about his family. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 you should've seen me today.
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there are important new details in tunisia's decision to release one of the few known suspects in the attack of benghazi consulate.
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cnn's brian todd has been working on this for us. more disturbing details. what are you learning? >> wolf, as you heard yesterday, tunisia released ali harzi. officials believe that harzi was sending descriptions on the attack while it was happening and u.s. congressman frank wolf told me that harzi for the attack. now there's a video posted on a group, a video which we believe shows ali harzi being greeted after the release and it's a nonmilitary group. there's a jihadist song that plays throughout and at the very end you hear a voice. we translated it. march my brother on the path of
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jihad. we cannot verify the you a then tis tea of this video but it does appear that it connects ali harzi with a known militant group in tunisia. this is going to further outrage u.s. officials and others that he's been release sdpld we're getting new information about ali spaz harzi's brother as well in. >> yes. counterterrori counterterrorism sources are telling us that his group is involved with al qaeda in iraq. there's a picture of him. he was one of about 100 detainees who escaped from a prison in iraq last september. he had been sentenced to death for his involvement in attacks by that group. he's still at large. he, the brother of ali harzi who was released from tune neesh shan custody yesterday. we're connecting the dots on him and his family and militant groups and it's not a good connection if you want answers about the benghazi attack. >> brian, thanks. good reporting. up next, a great white shark is spotted off the florida
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coast. but where it came from may surprise you. and in our next hour, in depth on the flu outbreak, we have the top three ways you can catch the illness. this is information you need to know right now. she can't always move the way she wants. now you can with new stayfree ultra thins. flexible layers move with your body, while thermocontrol wicks moisture away. keep moving. new stayfree. while thermocontrol wicks moisture away. as you can see, geico's customer satisfaction is at 97%. mmmm tasty. and cut! very good. people are always asking me how we make these geico adverts. so we're taking you behind the scenes. this coffee cup, for example, is computer animated. it's not real. geico's customer satisfaction is quite real though. this computer-animated coffee tastes dreadful. geico. 15 minutes could save you 15 % or more on car insurance. someone get me a latte will ya, please? [ male announcer ] how do you turn an entrepreneur's dream...
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here's a look at this hour's hot shots. in brazil, look at this. a factory worker puts the finishing touches on the carnival mask of a brazilian football star. a soldier keeps watch at an outpost. and a giant photo of martin at the exhibit for film and television in berlin. and in israel, a young boy walks by cars damaged in a pileup caused by heavy rain and flooding. hot shots. pictures coming in from around the world. a prosecutor says colorado shooting suspect james holmes, quote, intended to kill them all. lisa sylvester's monitoring that and other stories in "the situation room" right now. what do you have, lisa? >> wolf, police say holmes visited the theater taking cell phone videos of the hallways and doors. he bought multiple guns over a
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period of months and meticulously prepared booby-traps at his home. a judge will rule on friday whether this case had proceed to trial. same-sex couples can marry in the washington national cathedral. when a bishop decided to allow it, the dean made it official calling it another historic step towards marriage equality. same-sex marriage came legal in three states this year. it was already legal in d.c. a great white shark has been spotted near jacksonville, florida. thankfully not by a swimmer. it was tagged near cape cod, massachusetts, in september. the 16-foot long shark got too close to the beach. no swimmers were nearby at the time. and for the first time since 1996, no one will be inducted into the baseball hall of fame. no players received the minimum number of votes which is 75% of
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the baseball writers. perhaps the most notable admissions were bea ree bonds and roger clemens and same me sousa. all three have been linked to steroids. a fact that they take very seriously. >> and they should take very seriously. thanks very much, lisa. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, the worst flu season in decades sweeps across the united states. we'll tell you what to look for. you're going to learn something new. also, a high-speed commuter ferry slams into a dock in new york city and dozens of people are injured. we'll hear from a passenger about those terrify moments. and a nobel prize winner. a diplomat and tv star are all investigated for treason in egypt. i'll ask egypt's controversial new president, mohamed morsi, about the tough questions of human rights in his country. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer.
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you're in "the situation room." a a severe out break of the flu strikes surprisingly early and across the united states. in just a minute i'll speak with a doctor feeling the effects of this outbreak. first, in boston, a public health emergency has been declared. the mayor is warning of tough days ahead. they could be difficult. >> we are less than halfway through the flu season but boston has already seen about 700 firm cases of the flu since october 1st. that's ten times the amount of total cases we saw all of last
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year. >> at least four pediatr pediatric flu-related deaths, the youngest of them just six-month-old. the health department has said there's been almost 300 cases since the start of the season, a number they don't typically see until the end of february. and in minnesota, this. >> so far to date we've had over 900 hospitalized cases here in the state of minnesota. >> among the victims there, this 14-year-old girl who died from complications from the illness despite, despite getting her flu shot. joining us now on the phone from minnesota is dr. joan krikava. she's the medal corrector at the new medical center. doctor, how bad is it where you are? many think that minnesota is the epicenter of this problem? >> we have a high prevalence of flu in minnesota right now. >> when you say high, give us an
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example of how bad it is? >> our community is 13,000 and in the month of december we had 50 positive flu cases in a short period of time and half of our inpatients are dealing with the flu. >> and i think it's fair to call this a crisis? >> we have one nursing home in our community that has an established outbreak of influenza and they are now on anti-viral medication to avoid additional illnesses. our hospital has restrictions in place as well. we are restricting the number of visitors and we're restricting visitors to immediate family only. >> do you have enough medicine? is there any shortage of medicine that you might need? >> at this time, no, we don't. we have adequate anti-vir ras medication as well.
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>> meaning if someone comes down with the flu and gets sick, this is the medication they need? >>. >> are two ws it len thens the time a person is ill and using anti-viral medication is also recommended. >> what are you telling the people in your community to do? >> the most important is to get the flu shot and wash your hands and stay home from work and school and of course avoid being around individuals who are sick. >> and just to reiterate what dr. anthony fauci and our own dr. sanjay gupta told us, those most at risk are the elderly, pregnant women, and young children? is that right? >> that is absolutely correct and also those with chronic
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diseases, like heart disease or diabetes. >> dr. joan krikava, thank you for helping us. lisa, it's surprising how these germs can easily spread. >> wolf, this goes without saying. if you suspect that someone has the flu, keep your distance. the flu is passed by droplets but it can also be passed by touching a surface with the flu virus on it. we touch so many things without even realizing it. take a simple trip on the subway. buying a metro card, going down the escalator, that's only the beginning. the flu virus can spread easily in an enclosed space like a subway station. >> the virus is usually spread threw contact, so any time we cough or sneeze when we're infected with the virus, we can be contagious to anyone not affected. >> reporter: the flu virus can spread to others up to six feet
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away. and flu germs can remain suspended in the air. the top three ways to catch the flu, being near someone who is sick who sneezes, coughs, or talks spreading infected droplets, drinking from the same cup or sharing a utensil or touching a germy surface and then touching your eyes or mouth and you can pass the virus to someone before you even know you're sick. >> someone can be contagious with influenza up to a day prior to developing symptoms. and up to seven days post developing those symptoms. so the flu virus can be fairly contagious over a long period of time. >> reporter: to see how easily it is to spread germs, we tried out this experiment. look at what this black light picked up. if this were the flu virus or cold germs, i would be leaving a trail behind for someone else to catch. using cleaning products to keep
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products germ-free can minimize the chances of spreading the flu and it's important to wash hands thoroughly. jessica benton is with calico industries, a company that sells glow germ as a way to teach proper hygiene. >> at least 20 seconds of vigorous washing. i do know when people wash their hands they may not go between their fingers, go underneath the fingers, there's a lot of germs that get stuck behind when you don't wash your hands properly. >> and you might wonder, so how long can germs live on surfaces? well, typically it's two to eight hours but there have been reports up to 48 hours. soap and water is the best way for washing hands but if you don't have access to them, then hand sanitizer can also be effective. again, we keep hearing this again and again. if you have not done so already, doctors are recommending that you get a flu shot and, of
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course, the common advice is if you have the flu, stay home. don't go to work. don't infect your co-workers and colleagues and so forth. >> just stay at home. and you make a good point. when you say wash your hands, you know, washing your hands, people do it for three seconds, wash their hands and think their hands are clean. you've got to really wash your hands. >> they say wash vigorously and you want the water to be really warm as well as 20 seconds. so sing the happy birthday songs a couple of times. here's the thing. people may not realize this, you actually have to wash between your fingers. you can see it gets stuck between your rinings and fingers and so forth. you go up to someone else and it's a common and polite thing to do and that's another thing they will say, you can say to somebody, you know what, i don't want to pass the flu germ or virus, not shaking hands. you can politely decline to shake hands. in this day and era, people will understand, wolf. >> and make sure you use a lot of soap. good advice. thank you.
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other news we're following, a crowded passenger ferry slammed into a new york city pier at the height of this morning's rush hour. 57 people were injured and two critically. passengers were ready to disembark when the high-speed ferry crashed. some were thrown into the air before hitting the deck. it carries 326 passengers to manhattan's financial district. up to 100,000 people a day ride ferries to and from new york city. two-thirds of them ride the statin island ferries. let's turn to someone who was on that ferry when it crashed. passenger elizabeth is joining us. i'm glad you're okay. tell us what it was like. >> i take it every day and i start off with my normal commute until the very end, i was actually finishing up an episode
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on my ipad so i had stayed seated. but normally people come up and get ready to disembark from the boat. so all of a sudden everyone felt a large jolt. it kind of felt like we were in a car accident. no one knew what was going on. some people were yelling because they had fallen down and there were some people who had blood on their clothes and some people who were still laying on the ground. and so the scene was -- the authority figures were pretty calm and trying to reassure everyone that it was just a mechanical problem but i stay seated and some people had -- were able to get up but others were not. >> was there calmness or panic? how would you describe the reaction to what you saw? >> well, i was sitting at the back of the boat which was relatively calm compared to the front but there were definitely some people who were frantic who couldn't get off the ground, who were confused. it was definitely a confusing scene. >> do you take this ferry every day? >> i do.
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>> from where to where? >> i take it from highland, new jersey to wall street. >> and how long is the whole ride? >> about 45 minutes. >> so it's a good way for you to commute to wall street where i presume you're working. are you going to do it again? are you scared? do you trust this operation? what do you think? >> i do trust it. i live pretty far from the city and i actually don't even work in wall street. i work at a pr agency in midtown so i will definitely continue to keep taking it. >> elizabeth, i'm happy you're okay and i wish everyone on that ferry only the best. thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks so much, wolf. hacking your bank. we're going to tell you who has been targeting some of the biggest u.s. financial institutions. this is also information you should know. and well known egyptians investigated and supposedly for treason, including a nobel prize
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winner. is democracy in egypt in real danger? i'll speak about that and more with egypt the controversial new president, mohamed morsi. from the u.s. postal service. we'll even drop off boxes if you need them. visit pay, print, and have it picked up for free. any time of year. ♪ nice sweater. thank you. ♪
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turning now to a series of hacking attempts. here's the question. is your barveg being targeted for online assaults by iran. brian todd has been looking into this story for us. what are you learning? >> wolf, we know that the size, scope, and sophistication of these attacks is unlike anything experts have ever seen. 20 of america's top banks have been targeted in three waves of attacks since september and many believe this had to be state sponsored. experts say they've never seen
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anything like it. a massive onslaught of cyber attacks, slowing down their websites, even forcing some to shut down temporarily, costing them money. >> this has been the longest industrial sector attack that we've seen in the recorded cyber attack history. >> the security firm radware say it's been happening in three waves since september with two attacks in the last month. what makes this so alarming, the total number of banks attacked, 20 of america's top institutions. carl won't name them but cnn had confirmed during the first wave that these five had been hit. bank of america, jpmorgan chase, wells fargo, u.s. bank, and pnc bank. the scope and sophistication of the attacks, according to experts, points to a nation being behind this, not just a loose group of hackers. when the wave started in september, senator joe lieberman, then chairman of the homeland security committee, said i think this was done by
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iran. analysts james lewis agrees, saying it's likely retaliation for previous cyberattacks on iran and for other things. >> the iranians have paid a lot of attention to cybersecurity and developing their own attack capabilities. the trigger in this case was probably some attacks by unknown foreign parties against iran's main oil terminal back in the summer. and that appears to have led them to retaliate. >> carl says iran may not be behind this. whoever it is, how are they doing it? hackers often lasso a bunch of computers making them do their bidding, overflowing websites with requests and slowing them down or shutting them down. but in this case experts say the hackers possibly iran, are not just taking control of a bunch
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of computers but entire data centers which bring more fire power to attack the banks. and herberger says the attacks are also infiltrating the way we secure our online payments. no money has been stolen but -- >> these attacks are harbingers for integrity-based attacks. >> translation, that means people's accounts could soon be breached. contacted by cnn, an iranian official at the u.n. says this is a, quote, false allegation that iran is behind these attacks and his government denies being behind them and that these allegations is to poison concerns over iran's nuclear program. >> i know iran was behind a recent attack on saudi arabia's oil industry. >> that's right. they were behind the saudi oil giant aramco, an attack in which
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more than 30,000 customers were rendered useless. it was pretty massive. iran denied involvement in that attack as well. >> brian, thank you very much. good work. "time" magazine calls him the boss. new jersey governor chris christie and what it could mean for 2016.
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the new jersey governor chris christie is back in the news this week focused in on recovery efforts from the superstorm sandy and his leadership in that crisis has revived talk about a possible 2016 presidential run. that's been a hot topic as christie makes the rounds of some of the television talk shows. >> my job is to be governor of new jersey and i think people have seen over time, whether it's working with the president, criticizing my own party, my job is to govern -- the fact of the matter is, everybody has to come to the table of wanting to come to an agreement, ultimately, and that's what we've been doing in new jersey for the past three years. >> we've lost elections two
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times in a row. we need to do something different. >> chris christie appears on the cover of the new "time" magazine. rick, what made you decide to put governor christie on the cover? >> wolf, he's definitely the man of the hour, as he said. the republicans have lost two times in a row and he's thinking, well maybe i need to run against my fellow republicans in order to become the most popular person in the party. and the larger question is, does he represent a new kind of republican? a kind of more centrist, a more candid republican who speaks his mind and could actually challenge the democrats. >> i think he does represent all of that, don't you? >> i do. i do indeed. and i think he does as well and there are a lot of voters who felt like nobody was speaking for them last time. neither candidate, not the president nor governor romney and he is such a straight
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talker. i think people feel, yeah, he is sticking up for me. he's talking for me. >> he's like a breath of fresh air, so blunt and even going after his own republicans, at times to the speaker of house. he gave some reaction on fox earlier today to your cover picture. i'll play what he said. >> i'm reporting "time" magazine to the anti-defamation league. i mean, come on. >> like tony soprano. >> i can't wait for that to come home and for my kids to see it. >> what do you think of that reaction? >> well, i think he was having a little bit of fun at our expense and we had a little bit of fun at his expense. wolf, you know, of course, that governor christie idolizes the real boss, that is, bruce springsteen. it's a double antandra to call him the boss and the governor got that, too. >> what do you think of the media tour that he's on?
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do you conclude, you and your reporters, that this potentially is in fact a prelude for the republican nomination in 2016? >> well, wolf, i think folks like us are probably the only people talking about 2016. maybe not the only people thinking about it and certainly i think, you know, be in this day and age, the age of the perpetual campaign, if you're a candidate or an office holder, you want to capitalize on something that is going in your favor and i think it's simply the governor seeing, look, people are interested in him now. he's doing some bold things and he wants to capitalize on that. >> the only issue that ever comes up with governor christie, i don't know if it's a fair issue or not, is his weight. did you guys get into that? >> we didn't get into it, wolf. if and when he decides to run for president, it will be something that people talk about and people discuss and, you know, he doesn't hide the fact and he talks about it it himself. but it's a valid issue that i
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think is worth discussing. >> rich stengel, editor of "time" magazine, thank you. so what did james holmes do before he allegedly went on a killing spree at a movie theater? you won't believe this. stand by. and a noble prize winner is being investigated for treason. just ahead, a cnn exclusive. i put some tough questions about democracy to the controversial new president of egypt, mohamed morsi.
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the prosecution has wrapped its preliminary case against the
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colorado shooting suspect james holmes calling the man who didn't care who he killed. this, after disturbing new cell phone images were revealed allegedly taken hours before the attack. cnn's ed lavandera is joining us with more. ed, more brutal information coming out? >> reporter: well, those pictures put a cap on this three-day preliminary hearing and it's clear that james holmes' attorneys are going to be arguing that holmes suffered some sort of mental illness and that perhaps attributed to this attack. but everyone else, the families and prosecutors say that he is not crazy. he's simply just a deviant killer. six hours before james holmes burst into theater 9, he captured self-portraits using this cell phone. these are photographs wearing black eye contacts and smiled holding a gun near his face dressed in the bulletproof gear he would later wear into the
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theater. in another, holmes bright orange hair is seen wearing a cap while sticking out his tongue. he smiled in court as he looked at the pictures of himself pop up on a screen. tom, whose son was murdered, says he was an animal. >> he was smiling and having a hard time controlling himself. but he's not crazy one bit. he's very, very cold. he's very, vehicle cue lated. >> reporter: prosecutors spent the last three days laying out a detailed time line of how holmes planned the massacre. he started casing the movie theater about three weeks before the shooting. he came here on three different occasion and snapped off a series of pictures they found on his iphone that showed various hallways and doors and the exit of theater 9. james holmes' deviant and deadly plan feels more like a deranged
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fictional character in a "batman" movie. he stockpiled weapons and rigging his apartment planned to detonate when he started the killing spree. this is the backside of the movie theater. it's still closed by a chain-link fence. he parked his car right there and walked into the theater like anybody else but he was carrying a metal clip that you would use to fasten a table cloth to a picnic theater. he came out the exit and investigators say he put that clim on the door and it propped it open. he came out here, put on his ballistic gear and was able to walk right back into the theater. >> it was complete, you know, planning. it was competency, it was everything on his part to make sure that this act was carried out from start to finish.
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>> it was well thought out. it was very deliberate. it was calculated. >> reporter: but all these disturbing details we've learned in the past three days still don't he can plain why james holmes wanted to kill so many people. >> wolf, the judge in this case will make his final ruling as to how this case will move forward and obviously it will go forward. there was plenty of evidence suggesting that there should be a trial after everything that we've heard over the last few days and then we suspect that james holmes would enter a plea at that point during the arraignment. so it will be interesting to see what defense attorneys say then about how they plan on moving forward and what their strategy will be. wolf? >> thanks very much, ed lavandera on the scene for us. we'll watch this story unfold. into meanwhile, very sadly we've been seeing more emergency situations like the colorado theater shootings and the connecticut school shootings. law enforcement personnel, first responders, even civilians are getting training for dealing
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with them. cnn's miguel marcus got a firsthand look. miguel is joining us live. miguel? >> wolf, this has created a whole new industry. it a very chilling sign of the times we live in. >> lockdown, lockdown, lockdown. >> it's calling active shooter training. the scenarios horrifying. >> hey. don't run from me. >> a heavily armed masked killer all too possible. the scenario has just ended. they used masks in this scenario to make this as real as possible. the gunman tried to get in through this door. the people in this room barricaded themselves in. >> is it helpful? this scenario, how realistic are they? >> they are absolutely realistic. even though you know that they are not real bullet, immediately i think, i don't want to get shot at with the soft pellet
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gun. >> reporter: southern california state university, home to 30,000 students, has opened its doors to options. a texas company teaching civilians survival skills for mass shootings. >> the lessons that you are teaching are incredibly realistic. >> yes. >> what has been taught to them before has been shown not to work. >> what doesn't work, he says, is only trying to hide from a gunman. the company teaches other options, like providing good information, barricading, escaping, and in extreme situations, countering a gunman. students at alabama's auburn university also underwent the training. here at san diego state, all incoming freshman will undergo active shooter training starting this fall. >> we want people to know what their options are before they happen so they don't waste time trying to figure out what they are going to do next. in 1996, graduate student frederick martin davidson
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stressed about defending his thesis killed three staff members. gail's son now attends virginia tech where 49 people were killed or injured in a 2007 massacre. >> i think you have concerns about your student going to any college, given the tragedy of virginia tech. there was a little more concern. >> i'm going to kill all of you. >> the hard fact of reality, getting students and staff to think about the unthinkable. and a little sense of just how this industry has grown, wolf, that company responds options. they started in 2001 and had a few clients there. then today they have over 800 clients. they've charged 7900 bucks for e session that we saw but they do a lot of it pro bono as well and work out a deal with certain organization zagss so this thing
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is just growing like wildfire, wolf. >> miguel, how many universities approximately are doing this? >> a dozen of universities that they've worked with. the interesting thing about san diego state university, they are going to offer it to all freshman starting in the fall. the entire class will take part in this. they will have some coping skills in the event something like this happens on the campus there. wolf? >> miguel, thanks very much for that report. insurance giant aig considering whether to join a $25 billion lawsuit against the federal government and you, the taxpayer. we're bringing you their decision. that's next. what are you doing? nothing. are you stealing our daughter's school supplies and taking them to work? no, i was just looking for my stapler and my... this thing. i save money by using fedex ground and buy my own supplies. that's a great idea. i'm going to go... we got clients in today.
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the ailing venezuela president huge began chavez begins a new term tomorrow even though he's not going to be sworn in. what's going on, lisa sylvester? >> the country would face a power vacuum if tomorrow's inauguration was postponed. chavez is being treated for cancer in cuba and has been battling respiratory complications. and an update, aig has
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decided not to join a shareholder lawsuit against taxpayers over the $182 billion bailout that saved the company from bankruptcy. the board didn't detail its reasons for the decision, saying that it will make that information clear in court filings in the coming weeks. and president obama's second inauguration will include a second lineup of star power. beyonce knowles will sing the national anthem. james taylor is singing "america the beautiful" and kelly clarkson singing "my country 'tis of thee. the inauguration is january 20th and the public ceremony is monday, january 21st. and heads up monopoly fans. now is your chance to save your favorite game piece. hasbro is replacing a piece.
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you can vote to save any one of the originals seen here and then vote in one of these new ones like the ring or guitar. you can even check the leaderboard to see which pieces are safe and which are in trouble. the new piece is going to be revealed february 6th. so did you have a favorite monopoly piece? >> i was never a big monopoly guy. >> i had to think about some of the pieces. there was the boot, the iron, the dog. so we'll see which ones actually stay alive. >> you know a lot about monopoly. >> learning. just under two years ago, it was a symbol of hope. now tahrir square is dirty and depressing. the graffiti tells a story you're going to want to hear. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] don't just reject convention.
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during the arab spring two years ago, tahrir square became the heart of egypt's revolution. none of us will ever forget the demonstrators crowding into the square that day. but when i interviewed the new president, i found tahrir square to be a much different place. i stood in tahrir square a few days ago. the symbol of the egyptian
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revolution was largely deserted. it looked very different two years ago during those intense days leading up to the overthrow of the egyptian president, hosni mubarak. horses charging into the crowds, tank and armored vehicles and snipers all over the place. hundreds of egyptian protesters killed. and then it was over. the arab spring had come to egypt. those were days of high optimism. i was in egypt with secretary of state hillary clinton a few weeks after the revolution. we walked around tahrir square with little security. egyptians were thrilled to see her. i remember the near euphoria when she went to the nearby u.s. sem bass see to thank the american diplomats for their hard work during the historic days. >> madam secretary, what did you think of tahrir square?
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were you moved by what you saw there? >> it was very exciting and moving for me to go to tahrir square and have some sense of what those amazing days must have been like here in cairo and i am so looking forward to helping in any way that we can in this transformation and all the work that needs to be done. >> that was then. this is egypt now. huge concrete blocks surround all entrances to the u.s. embassy. the graffiti reads, no morsi, free egypt, free palestine, no america. last september, anti-american protesters stormed the compound scaling the walls and burning the american flag. president obama had to personally phone egyptian president morsi to get the egyptian military and police finally to stop the assault and protect the american staff. security is very tight at the embassy now. come on over here.
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you can see the barricades outside the embassy and if you take a look right behind those barricades you can see the american flag flying on the u.s. embassy grounds. it's a huge complex over there. it's one of the largest u.s. embassies in the world and you can see more barricades over here. we're only, what, half a block or so from tahrir square. we're heading over there right now. i went back to tahrir square with cnn's ian lee who is based in cairo and covered the revolution. >> about 60 yards, 70 yards you have the embassy this way. >> there were folks still living in tents, but there was no traffic and few protesters. ian, give me a little tour of tahrir square. we're going to walk around, we can see the tents. there are folks still here but this is a lot different than it used to be? >> this is completely different than it used to be. right now we have remnants of the posts that we saw before leading up to the constitutional
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referendum. people were really upset with president mohamed morsi and wanted the cancellation of the referendum. this isn't really -- what we're seeing right now isn't really popular amongst the people. if you go outside tahrir square, most people say the square should be opened, functioning again, it's the heart of the city. but there are still a lot of people who are upset with the president and we're seeing -- >> and so these folks here in these tents, these are the opposition to president mother s morsi? >> yes. it ranges from poor people to wealthy people. >> all right. so we're walking around tahrir square. and obviously i remember when i was here i guess it must have been almost two years ago right after mubarak fell, i came here with hillary clinton and she just walked right in and it was very upbeat, very confident, everyone was pretty pleased
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about what was going on. there seemed to be an unusually euphoric attitude but that's changed dramatically since then? >> it has changed. the country is deeply divided for those who support the president and those who oppose him. this was not going to last long. the people were going to be divided because there are very different groups going for power. so it wasn't about to last long but we've really seen in the last month egypt become very divided. >> on the walls around tahrir square, the graffiti tells the story of this egyptian revolution. i took another tour with a guide here in cairo. let's take a little stroll down all of this graffiti. tell us what we're seeing over here. >> one of the key demands of the revolution was to clean up the police because the criminal activity was with the police and nefarious activities are involved. so here it says, police are
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still criminal. they have not restructured the interior ministry yet and you still have massacres and vie layings of human rights. >> these are some of the people that were killed during the revolution? >> and afterwards as well. and then you have the president in the garb of farrow. this is the unmistakable -- >> president mubarak. >> over farrow. no. here you have morsi. >> oh, i see. >> and it's beneath invalids, like illegitimate. >> so anti-president morsi graffiti? >> yes. and then you have no for the constitution of the brother it's repeated. and then you have this beautiful poem. it says, how -- how hard is that wall when it rises in the face of the sunrise? you might spend your whole -- your entire life to make a hole in that wall so wall, so that
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light passes for the generation, but for this wall, you wouldn't have appreciated the free light. >> and who's this? >> those are the officers of the revelation. you know, when during the revolution last year, some officers defected. and they said mubarak, we are not supporting you. and they were arrested immediately. >> interesting. >> here we have this gentleman, who is fighting. his tool is -- he's paining to fight oppression, while a general is attacking him. >> during our next hour, more of my exclusive interview with the egyptian president, mohamed morsi. i asked him, why in a supposedly new and free democratic egypt, three of his most prominent critics are now subjects of treason investigations. stand by for that in our next hour. along syria's border with
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jordan, hundreds of refugees are now living in a soggy, muddy mess. cnn's nick paton walsh is there. >> reporter: wolf, that cold front of weather that's moved in the past few days has really hit those in jordan the hardest. we went to the refugee camp near the border and saw really intolerable conditions that will only be worsened by what i'm standing in now, and that's an inch of freshly fallen snow. in jordan, life was supposed to get better for these syrians, but in the camp, lives are collapsing all over again. these flatlands conjuring unimaginable cold, rain, wind, and simply too many people to fit. some nights, nearly 2,000 syrians arrive here. it can't grow fast enough. there were children sleeping inside, he says. see what happened.
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water destroyed here this family's second home in four months. fire, lit by the regime, destroyed their first in the city of darra. they destroyed everything, he says. we left the house because it was burned. they destroyed the house, she says. the police came in and burned it. there's water in the tent, inside, everywhere around. all our blankets are destroyed. they may have lost their original homes to the war, but now in the dead of night, their new tents so often flooded with icy, cold rainwater causing thousands of people in this camp to seek drier areas, if at all possible. and still, every night, hundreds pour in, seeking refuge, even here from the escalating violence inside syria. they pack up, hoping for new tents, but in these icy storms, without solid prefab housing, it's a matter of time until they
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may move again. the u.n. say they can't afford to do more? >> about 20% of the population is under the age of 4. we're getting children five days old, nine days old, ten days old, and they're coming across in these sort of conditions. we knew this was coming. we knew that the weather was going to worse, and it's not going to be the last of the wet weather and the snow, unfortunately. >> so why isn't there more prefab housing, if you knew it was coming? >> it's money, as simple as that. our funding is about 20 to 50% of what we asked for. >> so far, the u.n. insists that despite rumors flooding the camp, children are not dying of the cold. but they are simply holding back the tide. snow is coming. french soldiers providing medical care to those who reach their tiny field hospital. what are the kinds of injuries you see? >> essentially, war injuries. shrapnel, gunshot wounds, explosions.
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>> reporter:. the trauma of 22 months' brutality evident in the faces of the old and the young. wolf, as you heard, there's little more they can do without extra cash, and we ask the jordanian government really for their response to those conditions inside the camp, which i'm sure anybody watching can agree are unbearable, they had to comment and said the camps are what they are, but those conditions will surely only worsen for those inside, in the freezing weeks ahead, and of course, as people continue to pour in, as many as 2,000 in one night, we heard, life will just get more and more intolerable, wolf. >> nick paton walsh. and to find out how you can make a donation to relief efforts for the syrian refugees, go to our impact your world website at e on sore muscles, huh? you know you could just use bengay zero degrees.
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[ male announcer ] when diarrhea hits, kaopectate stops it fast. powerful liquid relief speeds to the source. fast! [ male announcer ] stop the uh-oh fast with kaopectate. gadgets and gizmos galore at the consumer electronics show in las vegas. dan simon has the story from las vegas. >> reporter: in between the
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robotic cleaners and back massagers, the indestructible cell phone cases. and ingenious smart pens, here are a few products that caught our eye at ces. first up, the water save iphone. liqipel has a waterproof coating. >> it's a thousand times thinner than the human hair. it duchoesn't affect the look, feel, or functional of the phone. >> reporter: cost, about $60 per phone. next, ultra-hd tv. >> it is four times the resolution of a traditional hd tv, which means you can have a bigger tv in your room, you can sit closer to that tv, and that tv will be much, much, much clearer. >> they are, in fact, stunning. content that was limited and the price for the big sets can go
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upwards of a whopping $20,000. don't look for them just yet at walmart, but look for the price to come down in a few years ago. we saw this item to be a bit more affordable. if you're someone o who likes to watch tv in bed, here's a product that might appeal to you. this is from brookstone and it's a pillow that has speakers inside it. and the selling point is, if you're listening to the tv, watching whatever show or movie you've got on, you can listen to it without disturbing the person lying next to you. >> we think it's going to be a terrific father's day gift, may even save a few marriages. >> reporter: finally, there was the hapi fork. the electronic utensil lets you know if you're eating too fast. if you're eating too fast, it will buzz or light up to tell you to slow down. >> you'll have a gentle vibration. >> reporter: at $99, it's being called the world's first smart fork. >> that's why eating slowly is very importantly. you can lose weight and your digestion is going to be much better. >> reporter: another of the
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cutting edge exhibits that caught our eye at ces, where 2,000 companies from all over the worldre showing off their new products to the 150,000 people who came here to be dazzled. dan simon, cnn, las vegas. and happening now, passengers are thrown into the air in a new york city ferry crash. an overwhelmed hospital results to a flu tent. an armed mother in a home invasion. 911 tape captures her shooting the intruder. walmart reverses course on the white house gun task force. plus, democracy or dictatorship. tough questions for egypt's new government, my exclusive interview. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room". dozens of people injured, some critically, when a passenger ferry hits a dock in new york city during this morning's rush hour. federal safety investigators are now on the scene and this is not
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the first accident this particular ferry has been involved in. mary snow is in new york. what's the latest, mary? >> reporter: wolf, the coast guard says a total of 85 people were injured in this accident. that includes people who were treated and released at the scene and that one person remains in critical condition tonight. the fire department earlier in the day said that 55 people has been taken to area hospitals. the ferry is right behind me. a team from the national transportation safety board arrived here hours ago. they're now working with the coast guard to find out what just went wrong. the sea streak commuter ferry was just ending a roughly 40-minute ride from new jersey, when it rammed into lower manhattan's pier 11 with 326 passengers onboard. >> when we hit the dock, everybody went flying. so that's why there were so many injuries, you know, people got
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thrown down stairs, and that's where most people got hurt. >> i wasn't looking at the dock, and all of a sudden the boat went from going however fast it was going to zero. so everybody went this way and then you went this way. >> it felt like you were in a car that just ran into a tree or a building. >> reporter: a large gash was visible at the front of the vessel. investigators will be looking at a range of potential causes, from human error to mechanical failure, as well as the company's safety record. the ship had two prior accidents, one in 2009, the other in 2010. no injuries were reported. one factor investigators will be lacking at is the speed of the ferry, as it pulled into the dock. >> reporter: we know that they hit the pier here at a relatively high rate of speed, and that's a relatively high rate for a docking maneuver. anywhere between what we think about 14 knots, which would be about 15, 16 miles an hour. >> reporter: coast guard captain gordon lobel says overall, the
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new york harbor is a safe one, given the high traffic of vessels passing through every day. the last major ferry accident was in 2010, causing 36 injuries. it came seven years after one of the city's worst ferry accidents, when 11 people were killed and 42 injured when the staten island ferry slammed into its pier. and in today's incident, wolf, there were five crew members. the coast guard says all five crew members were given breathalyzer tests and that preliminary results show that those tests came back negative. now, the ntsb plans to interview crew members tomorrow. the owner of the company apologized, expressing sympathy and concern for all those people who were injured in the very, very scary accident this morning. >> yeah, very scary. >> wolf? >> and the investigation only just beginning. kate -- kate? mary, thanks very much. kate balduan is here, watching some other stories we're
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watching as well. >> the gun control debate, that's one thing, for sure, wolf. the gun divide is one of the deepest in the u.s., evoking strong passions on both sides of this debate. and today, the vice president held a meeting. this is part of a series of meetings, part of a task force, put together in the wake of the massacre in newtown, connecticut. and vice president biden says there will be action with or without congress once these meetings are done. cnn white house correspondent brianna keilar has more details on the meeting. >> reporter: vice president joe biden says president obama is serious about addressing gun violence. so serious that he'll go around congress to do it. >> the president is going to act, executive orders, executive action that can be taken. we haven't decided what that is yet, but we're compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and all the rest of the cabinet members, as well as legislative action, we believe, is required. >> reporter: it's unclear what
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executive action the president might take. gun control advocates, like mayor bloomberg, is urging the president to close holes in the gun database. many state agencies still don't contribute information about whether somebody is mentally fit to own a weapon. word the white house will go it alone on some measures was met by suspicion on the right. >> so when biden says that himself and the president and the cabinet, the attorney general, all a bunch of leftist democrats, are talking about using executive orders, when you say for what, it can only be to take guns away from people. and who knew that an executive order can trump a constitutional amendment. >> my daughter was killed in aurora, jessica ghawi. >> my 16-year-old son, blair holt, was killed in chicago, may 10th, 2007. >> my name is collin goddard. i'm a survivor of the shooting at virginia tech in 2007. >> reporter: victims of gun violence and their family
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members who met with biden were heartened by the news that the white house will take executive action. though according to sources, they mainly talking about a move that would require congress to act, closing the gun show loophole, which allows people to purchase a weapon from a private owner without a background check. collin goddard was shot four times at virginia tech in 2007. he bought semi-automatic weapons as part of a documentary about his story. you purchased the weapon that you were shot with at virginia tech? >> yeah, i bought 9-millimeter handguns, i bought mc-11s, tech-9s, even an ak-47 in ohio without any paperwork or any background check at all. and it was all really easy and legal. >> reporter: president obama has urged congress to pass a ban of assault weapons and also a ban on high-capacity magazines or gun clips, as they might be done, but those are politically heavier lifts than trying to close the so-called gun show lap
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he loophole. >> and brianna, walmart is now attending the vice president's meeting tomorrow, after initially saying that they wouldn't be able to attend, would not be sending a representative. what happened? >> reporter: walmart said initially, kate, a spokesperson for walmart said that they weren't going to attend, that their executives were going to be in bentonville, arkansas, the company's headquarters, for a meeting, so they wouldn't with able to attend in person. and then, certainly after that got some scrutiny, they reversed their decision. their key in this, because they are the nation's largest retailer, they sell guns and they sell ammunition, and after reversing course on this and say they will attend this meeting tomorrow, that same spokesperson said that they had underestimated the expectations of appearingi in person and that's why they changed their minds. >> no matter when, an invitation at the white house is still an invitation to the white house. >> it is. >> brianna keilar at the white house tonight, thanks so much, brianna. the gun divide is one of the
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deepest in the united states, evoking such strong passions on both sides, clearly, but many americans have little or no firsthand experience with guns. cnn's deborah feyerick was among that, but you set out to change that. tell us about it. >> there are millions of law-abiding gun owners in the united states, who really had been around firearms since they were very young. it's really part of the american culture. and today a friend told me that when he was in high school, he would go deer hunting before class, totally an anathema to me. so i set out to determine if i could understand gun ownership through their eyes. >> do it again. >> reporter: i didn't grow up around firearms. the thought of carrying one, much less firing one, is outside my comfort zone. >> what do you think? not as tough as you think, right? >> it's definitely not as tough. >> reporter: there are more than 310 million nonmilitary firearms
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in the united states, more than one for every american. and realistically, the difference between military weapons and their popular civilian versions is often minimal, says security expert, lou palumbo. do you think as citizens we are better protected if we are armed a firearm like this, as citizens? >> yes. >> because? >> because this weapon or this firearm will allow you as an individual to protect yourself and your family. >> reporter: as i pick up this ps-90 rifle, often used by the secret service, i ask myself, could i pull the trigger to protect my family? >> that dot inside that circle right in the middle of that ten, and pull the trigger. do it again. do it again. do it again. >> i'm focused with professionals in a controlled environment. to my surprise, lou describes this as a the pussy cat of weapons. >> what'd you think about shooting that? >> reporter: i have to agree with lou, it's a very gentle gun. >> it is. >> reporter: my city has lots of police and lots of gun laws.
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as a civilian, i can't carry a firearm here. lou, a former cop, can, and never leaves home without one. his concern -- >> they're legislating laws that do not impact the criminal element. in other words, the only people that obey the law are law-abiding citizens. >> reporter: the aurora movie theater shooter used three firearms, one a shotgun similar to this. a single cartridge, multiple pellets, maximum damage. >> you can smell the powder, too. >> absolutely. >> reporter: i'm torn between fascination and fear. i understand self-protection and competitive sport but gun crime is a reality in my city. >> i look at people as being evil, you know? i've never seen a gun jump up on its own and shoot someone. >> reporter: so i change my scenario. if i lived alone in the country, could i see myself owning a gun. is this the kind of firearm a first-time owner could potentially buy? >> yes, with the proper instructions. >> reporter: and that's one of the key factors that many gun proponents point out.
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if you're going to own a gun, you must learn to use it properly. >> i want you to lean into it. >> reporter: i'm not sure about my own comfort level, not yet, anyway. but as i look at statistics, i see crime did not go down under the u.s. assault weapons ban. i don't have an answer to the gun debate. but with some 300 plus million firearms in the u.s., it would seem those fighting for all or nothing may not hold the answer either. you know, kate, this issue is so complex. there are so many things to consider. even something as basic as the number of gun owners, i tried to find that answer, well, no one knows. states, counties, cities, they all have their own gun laws. in some places, you have to register, in other places, you don't. so really the people who are going to be looking at legislation and what to do and what to ban and how to go about it, they have a very, very difficult, very complicated job ahead of them, kate. >> it's very complicated, but i will say, deb, i love that you set out to do this piece.
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making the effort to see an issue from another perspective. i grew up in indiana, i group up around guns, shotguns, something i've always been very comfortable with. so i absolutely love, especially on an issue as complex, and with so many passions on an issue like this, that you set out to see it from a different perspective. great work. great work, deb. >> thanks so much. >> i'm not getting close to you with that shotgun. >> don't mess with me, wolf. >> we'll talk later. emergency rooms are flooded with flu victims right now. one hospital has actually set up a flu tent outside. up next, the story of a teenager killed by the flu. it's heart wrenching, with unsettling implications. >> one of the last coherent things he said, he looked at me and there were some tears rolling down his face. >> he was scared. >> he was scared. he said, mom, i'm scared. and i said, i know, buddy, i am too. and he saw me crying, and he said, mom, it's going to be okay. mom, you're going to be okay. i love you. officemax can help you drive supply costs... down...
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i am declaring a public health emergency in the state of boston. >> the mayor taking dramatic action as his city is overwhelmed right now by the flu. boston health officials have confirmed 700 cases so far this season, ten times the number at this time last year. emergency rooms across the country are being inundated with flu patients. one hospital in allentown, pennsylvania, has set up a flu tent outside the e.r. to help handle the crowds. it's a very serious health crisis with potentially deadly consequences. let's bring in our senior medical correspondent, elizabeth cohen. she's in flower mount, texas,
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right now, with some details of one very sad, fatal case. elizabeth, what happened? >> reporter: wolf, you know, flu can be insidious. and it can attack even perfectly healthy people. and here's the story of one young man who got very sick, very quickly. this family was getting ready for a joyful christmas when on december 21st, 17-year-old son max started feeling sick, tired, fever. >> never really got like super sick. >> two days later, he was feeling better, played in the snow on vacation in wisconsin, celebrated christmas with his family. but christmas night, max felt sick again. >> he had excessive, like 104.9 fever, and we could not break it. >> reporter: the next morning, his parents took max to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with the flu. >> within 30 minutes, i mean, the doctor was like, something's really wrong here. his kidneys are starting to fail. >> max was rushed by helicopter to a larger hospital.
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>> one of the last coherent things he said, he looked at me and there were some tears rolling down his face -- >> he was scared. >> he was scared. he said, mom, i'm scared. and i said, i know, buddy, i am too. and he saw me crying, and he said, mom, it's going to be okay. you're going to be okay. i love you. and that's really the last, really coherent things that he said to me. >> reporter: within 24 hours, max went from feeling okay to intensive care. >> his organs were shutting down and they were completely baffled what was happening, what would attack him so quickly. >> reporter: his parents prayed for a miracle. >> and i remember putting my hands on his heart and i would feel his heartbeat, and i just knew how big it was, you know? >> reporter: four days later, max died. a young man whose nickname was panda, 6'4", big and gentle, played golf, goofed on his sisters, taught sunday school. after max died, they drove home
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to louisville, texas. waiting in their mailbox, an acceptance letter to max's first college choice. tom and melanie want max to be remembered for how he loved god, life, and the people around him. they've sold more than 1,000 "love to the max" t-shirts. the money will go a charity in max's memory and the memory of his huge, loving hrt. >> elizabeth is joining us. elizabeth, this is so awful. i know parents are wondering right now, what can they do to make sure this doesn't happen to their children? >> reporter: right. there are a few signs that you can look for. let's go through them. first of all, and this one is really important. if, like max, somebody feels better and then worse, that is a bad sign. because it's a sign that the flu might be over, but a bacterial infection has set in. which is what happened to max. that's what actually killed him. also look out for extreme lethargy, lethargy, a child who wants to sleep all the time, doesn't want to get out of bed, also look for confusion. wolf, i have a hard time saying
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this as a parent, but i think it's important to say, sometimes you can do everything right. this family did everything right and the flu can still win. >> and elizabeth, i know this is on the mind of so many people, did max have a flu shot? did that play into this at all? >> reporter: he did not have a flu shot. the parents have talked about that, but they added, he was on vacation in a house with about 15 relatives. several of those relatives who also had flu shots did come down with the flu. it's about 60% effective. so the message is, get a flu shot, it's better than not getting one, but stop signsnbut foolproof. >> elizabeth cohen, thank you. sad story, indeed. coming up next, fear of dictatorship. we'll talk about egypt's future. more of my exclusive interview with the country's new president. and the likely next treasury
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secretary might need to improve his signature before it's printed on every dollar bill in the country. [ thunder crashes ] [ female announcer ] some people like to pretend a flood could never happen to them. and that their homeowners insurance protects them. [ thunder crashes ] it doesn't. stop pretending. only flood insurance covers floods. ♪ visit to learn your risk.
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one of the best rookies to ever play in the nfl will have a lot to overcome to repeat his performance next year. kate's here and she's got more
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on that and some of the day's other top stories. kate? >> yeah, washington redskins robert griffin iii had major reconstructive knee surgery today after reinjuring his knee in sunday's loss to the seattle seahawks. redskins coach mike shanahan has been under quite a bit of fire for leaving him in the game after he was obviously hurt. even the white house weighed in today. >> it was painful to watch. and, you know, i'm not a football -- i'm not a football coach, but it sure seemed like, as remarkable a player as he is, he wasn't in a position to continue playing. >> here's some good news, though. the doctor who performed surgery says it was successful and that he expects rg-3 to make a full recovery, perhaps even in time for the next season. many people here in washington are sure hoping that happens. griffin led the redskins to their best season in 20 years. and like rg-3, this kenyan man
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knows how to shake off a few tacklers. unlike rg-3, he's not a football player, he's a long distance runner. watch as a bystander attacks him during the final stages of a ten-kilometer race in brazil. not only was he able to break free from the man, he wound up finishing in first place. that's what i call quite an accomplishment. and today, secretary of state hillary clinton made her first public comments since returning to work after treatment for a concussion and blood clot in her head. she's leaving the state department soon, but sidestepped a question about retirement. >> it's, you know, obviously, somewhat bittersweet, because i've had the most extraordinary experience, and i work with just an amazing team of people, but i'm very much looking forward to doing everything we can these last few weeks to resolve and finish up, wherever possible, and then to, you know, have a very smooth, seamless transition
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to senator kerry to continue the work. >> and then retire? >> well, with i don't know if that's the word i would use, but certainly, stepping off the very fast track, for a little while. >> we shall see. so keep your political scorec d scorecards out, while we're here. another female member of the obama cabinet, labor secretary, hilda solis, announced her resignation today, right after the news hit, a white house official told cnn, some prominent minority leaders and at least one woman in the cabinet will be staying on for now. that list includes health and human services, kathleen sebelius, veteran affairs secretary, eric shinseki, and attorney general, eric holder. speaking of the cabinet, president obama will nominate white house chief of staff, jack lew, for treasury secretary, with an announcement expected this week. that's according to a source with knowledge of the nomination. the 57-year-old would replace timothy geithner, the last remaining player on the president's original economic team. change is in the air, it sure
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is. now, not least among the treasury secretary's duties, signing our currency. take a look at this. but it seems handwriting is not one of jack lew's strengths. at least when it comes to his signature. do you see those loopty loops there. this is how his current signature was look on the dollar bill, a series of loops that apparently spell jack lew or maybe jacob lew, that's his real name. but that's unlikely to make the cut. the current treasury secretary, timothy geithner, revealed that he had to change his signature when he joined the cabinet. he was also loopy swirl, which he refined to this stately and legible version, which may be in your wallet right now. that is quite a signature. i don't want to throw my father under the bus, but this man might actually have a worse signature than my dad, who has the worst signature in the entire world. >> jack lew is going to be competition -- he's going to have to learn some penmanship if his signature is going to be on the u.s. dollar bills. >> the big joke today was, wolf, contrary to what many believe,
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he does not actually have to sign each dollar bill. >> oh, really? >> yeah, shocker. >> see how he does. critics of egypt's new president, investigated for treason. i put some tough questions to mohamed morsi. my exclusive interview with him in cairo. isn't it time the automobile advanced? introducing cue in the all-new cadillac xts. the simplicity of a tablet has come to your car. ♪ the all-new cadillac xts has arrived. and it's bringing the future forward. we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much. i appreciate it. i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money?
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if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank. your money needs an ally. humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
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two years ago, egyptians helped set the tone for the arab spring. they took to the streets, calling for change, toppled their longtime leader, and paved the way for democratic elections. the winner was a longtime muslim brotherhood leader, who's now president mohamed morsi. but he's been accused of steering egypt back toward dictatorship and trampling on
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human rights. over the weekend, i went to cairo for an exclusive conversation and i put some tough questions to the egyptian leader. during my lengthy interview with egyptian president mohamed morsi at his presidential palace in cairo, i raised the cases of three prominent egyptians, who sharply criticized morsi and who have been investigated for treason as a result. the nobel peace prize winner and the former head of the international atomic energy agency, mohamed elbaradei, amrad moosa, and the so-called jon stewart of egypt, who's made a lot of fun of morsi. their cases underscore the fear that morsi and his supporters could destroy the promise of freedom. what's going on with the democracy in egypt? >> translator: democracy in egypt and freedom are abided by an opposition in egypt is
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respected and appreciated for those to express their opinions and their poisons of view in egypt now and in egypt's future and to be a true partner in opinion and vision. effective criticism and constructive criticism. all of this is a right guaranteed for opposition in egypt. there are some challenges. there are some acts that don't comply with the law, that is addressed in the ewe additional system and the law and the president of the republic. it is not my right to interfere in what the procedures of the courts and what gets applied to and applied by the law. >> and they can criticize you without fear of going to jail? >> this happens every day. anyone can say, from the opposition, whatever they want for the sake of the interests of the nation, and no one should be afraid of opposition. >> that is very encouraging to hear from you, the president of egypt. and as a journalist, i want premium of the press, you want freedom of the press, and there is a case, though, of a
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satirist, a popular satirist, who's also being investigated for supposedly ridiculing you and the government. >> translator: whoever cris criticizes me has the full right to do so. if there are some legal measures and some of the egyptians file complaints in this respect, this is the issue that gets handled within the judicial skystem and the courts, not to me. this is a full-fledged system, and therefore i welcome any criticism. i welcome every opinion. i welcome every view and i push everyone to work. >> but just to tie up this issue, mohammad elbaradei, they don't have to worry about going to jail? >> translator: they are egyptians, they are part of my family from egypt. there is no way that any harm can befall them because of their opinions or their personal opposition. there is no possible way to talk about or discuss jails or imprisonment as an option because of political involvement, according to the law. there is no possible way to
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discuss this. >> reporter: we called baa sam youssif to get his reaction. he says he's heard about the investigations, but says so far he's not been summoned. he says he's worried about what he described as behind the scene actions taking place. we read him what morsi said in the interview. "the president says he's not linked to the lawsuits, it's music to my ears," he said. "i have to believe him. i thank him and i say i am glad he has nothing to do with it." and we got this reaction from former arab league head, ama mousa. "i wish to thank the president for the assurance that he has publicly given through cnn. i trust that these guarantees will apply to all egyptians who should enjoy free expression." there have been church burnings, including this one in alexandria. they worry that the muslim brotherhood's new influence will undermine their ability to practice their freedreligion fr
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and openly. how worried should these people be that egypt will leave democracy and become strictly another totalitarian, islamist state? >> translator: there is no objection in islam to democracy. we move, rich and poor, all to new heights of democracy. there will be no going backwards, to the previous period or dictatorship at all. and this is what i abide by and i insist upon, and we gain every day new heights in the context of applying and practicing democracy with complete freedom for all egyptians. >> but you know there are a lot of egyptian christians, cops, who are very frightened right now, and worried that their country, egypt, a country where they've lived forever, is moving in the wrong direction. >> translator: those people are my beloved and the children of
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the nation's, the christians and their brothers, the muslims. there is no worry for all, because the rights of all are equal. the same rights for everyone and they have the same obligations. the children of egypt can't be divided at all because of their belief, of practices, or their worship. we are all egyptians. >> what is your message to them about the religious freedom of cops, of christian cops, in egypt? >> reporter: the freedom of belief and the freedom of practicing rituals of worship are muslims, christians, and others. everyone who has a belief. for the first time in history, there is a special portion in the constitution for christian and jewish egyptians, and their right to return to and resort to their private matters, based on their ritual, that prescribe to their beliefs and religion. >> one of your advisers, speaking of egyptian jews, caused controversy the other day, when he suggested that egyptian jews living in israel should come back to egypt. >> translator: these words were said in a specific context, and
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the one who said it said it in this way to demonstrate what he wanted to say from his point of view. but there are many media outlets that removed it from the general context. however, he is no longer an adviser to me, because now he is a member of the legislative counsel in the shirra council and hes most likely a leader in this council, and it is not right to group the legislative council and the executive council together in this stage, because he is not my adviser now. cnn correspondent ian lee has been in egypt for several years and speaks arabic. he says there are serious divisions within the country. so talk about those divisions. >> well, on one side, you have the opposition, which in the past, has been unorganized. at this time, against present, they seem to have somewhat of an organization. and on the other side, you have the muslim brotherhood. you have the ultra-conservative sellfies, and you do have people who want stability in egypt. and they say, whoever leads us, we just want the country to move
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forward. so you have two camps, both sides believe they're right and both sides are vying for power. >> reporter: standing on a bridge over the nile river, the egyptologist, ahmed sadiq, says the future of egypt will largely depend on the can i. and we're watching it, obviously, very closely to see what's going on. >> i think if the economy recovers, all of this will disappear. >> reporter: morsi's bottom line, please be patient with the new egypt. he's only been in power for six months. real change takes time. >> you probably saw the "time" magazine issue, where the president of the united states is the person of the year. but you're not that far behind, because number four, egypt president, mohamed morsi, you can see right there. >> yeah. >> and you read the article. i assume you read the article about you. and there was an interesting line and i'll just get your quick reaction to it. mohamed morsi, the power broker,
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egypt's new president won kudos abroad and curses at home. what he does next could determine the shape of the middle east. what he does next could determine the shape of the middle east. you appreciate the responsibility you have right now? >> translator: the victory of the arab spring and the respect of people's will. this world should realize that the will of the people will win over and will prevail. so let's cooperate for the sake of stability and not interfere in the affairs of egypt and not all allow hi gemini. peace for all, freedom for all within their nation. the arab spring will win over and this area shall civilize. but, of course, we can't work in isolation from the world. we love this world and we want to live in peace. we'll work on that. and the will of the people from the region shall prevail and win over in the near future, in
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shallah. >> that means god willing. it's interesting, he spent seven years at the university of california, getting a doctorate. he's lived in the united states. so he says, he knows what i want to hear, what westerners, americans want to hear, and he says all the right things. the question is, will he deliver? will his actions be as strong as his words? >> and that's what i wanted to ask you. leaving this interview, leaving egypt, did you get any clearer sense of what direction you see this man wants to take this country? because as you know, and as you reported, there are so many people who have very mixed feelings about what they think his motives are and what direction he takes egypt. >> i've gotten so many reactions from sunday since i got back, monday morning. but most of the experts say it could go in either direction. they don't know. he's invited to come to the united states, he'll meet with president obama before the end of march some time. we'll see what he says when he comes here, but much more importantly, we'll see what he does. because he promised these three critics that he's not going to go after them. let's see what happens on the
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ground. we'll be watching closely. >> and actions speak louder than words. that phrase could not be truer in this context. >> egypt is the largest of all of the arab countries and the most important. >> great interview, wolf. fabulous. still ahead, to many republicans, he's a thorn in the side. others say, though, new jersey's governor could be, maybe already is the party's future. a closer look at this gop star.
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he's a thorn in the side of some republicans. to others, he's the future of the republican party. we're talking about the new jersey governor, chris christie. cnn national political correspondent jim acosta has our story. jim? >> wolf, with all the exposure he's getting these days, new jersey governor chris christie could be the right politician to lead the republican party out of the political wilderness. but some in the gop grumble christie is too busy telling them to get lost. from making the rounds on the morning talk shows to landing on the cover of "time" magazine and dubbed the boss, chris christie just might be the next big thing for a republican party that's shrinking in stature. and the new jersey governor never seems to be at a loss for words when it comes to giving the gop some straight talk.
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>> we've lost two national elections in a row. we need to be thinking about doing something different. >> reporter: christie grabbed his party by the collar last week, when he called out house speaker john boehner for stalling passage of billions of dollars in relief money for victims of snowstorm sandy. >> there's only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims. the house majority and their speaker, john boehner. >> reporter: in his state of the state speech this week, christie complained new jersey new jersey is still waiting for the bulk of the aid money. >> new jersey, both republicans and democrats, will never stand silent when our citizens are being short changed. >> reporter: but many in the gop who gave christie a pass for standing shoulder to shoulder with president obama wiright before the november election now wonder if he's just piling on. some are irritated, one nameless gop source said, that he's needlessly bashing republicans because it's the popular thing
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to do right now. >> most republicans view this as, yes, he's been bashing the speaker, but he was doing it to protect his state. and he's going to have to switch that out pretty quickly. >> he can't do that forever? >> if he did it on a weekly basis, he might as well switch parties. >> either way, he's popular in new jersey, with a new poll finding he has a 73% approval rating. that should ease his way into re-election this year. christie appears to be showing his party a new moderate path forward. he's banned the violent video game, "call of duty," in his home, and he's opened a discussing of a federal assault weapons ban. as for the white house, christie is dropping plenty of hints, telling reporters he'll be more ready to run in 2016. >> anybody who plans to run four years from now is crazy, i will be more ready than i was in 2012, because i will have done any job for longer and hopefully
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gotten better. >> reporter: the question for christie is whether the party will be ready for him. part of that depends on the direction of the gop, which is still making its way through some stormy weather of its own. wolf? >> jim acosta, thanks very much. say what you will about chris christie, he has a huge future ahead of him. >> i think he already has a future now, he's huge now, in his party. a startling story, a mother hiding with her children, opens fire on an intruder, shooting him five times. >> my wife is a hero. she protected her kids. she did what she was supposed to do as a responsible, prepared, gun owner.
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a mother, armed, shoots a home invader. the dramatic confrontation recorded in a call to 911. cnn's david mattingly is in atlanta with details of this. david, what happened? >> well, this case ended in gunfire and authorities in this georgia county are praising the results. listen to a father and husband's nightmare playing out on a 911 call. >> she shot him. she's shooting him. she's shooting him.
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she's shooting shooting him. she's shooting him. >> away at work, donny herman calls 911 with his wife at home in loganville, georgia, with their two children, hiding in their attic from a daytime intruder. he hears everything over the phone when the intruder confronts him. >> shoot him again, oh, no. >> herman's wife was armed with a .38 cal caliber. she fired all six shot, hitting the intruder five times. >> if she had not had that firearm, what do you think would have happened? >> i can speculate all day long. >> sheriff joe chaplain believes the mother had no chase and in defending herself and her children, acted properly. >> had it not turned out the way that it did, i possibly would be working a triple homicide not having a clue of what it is we're looking for. >> the suspect broke in with a
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you bar. he still managed to flee after being shot, driving off the road a short distance away. d donny herman told wsb his wife and children were unharmed. >> mi wife is hero. she protected her kids. she did what she was supposed to do as a responsible, prepared gun owner. >> we asked to speak to the couple, but now, less than a week after the incident, they're trying to maintain their privacy. the sheriff tells us they're dealing with some unintended ren the national debate over guns. just the week before, he took his wife to a shooting range to teach her how to handle a gun. you can hear him talking about it on the call. >> just remember everything that i showed you, all right? >> words of comfort to his frightened wife seconds before she pulled the trirg. local authorities say they and
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the couple have received calls of support from all over the coun country. >> no reasonable person can overlook this. >> by looking at what happened in this home in this county, what does that say about gun rights? >> well, in this county, it says that the people still have the right to defend themselves. >> bring david back in. so, what is the status of this alleged intruder? >> well, the alleged intruder is in the hospital. his condition has not been publicly released for privacy reasons. we talked to the sheriff about the legal status and they said they have a warrant for his arrest, but haven't served him yet. so he hasn't been arrested yet. when i asked why, the sheriff says well, if we arrest him now, then we would have to pay his medical bills. >> thanks so much. >> we all know about background checks for potential gun buyer, but a u.s. senator wants them for people who want to purchase ammunition. erin burnett has been speaking
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with him tonight. give us a little preview of what's coming up. >> senator richard blumenthal of connecticut where newtown is, has come out with a law. he says he wants to have background checks for ammunition purchases. but also, get to the bottom of the fact that the department of justice says in a study they did, 80% of inmates were in jail for gun related crimes, bought them illegally. so is the stuff right now putting more laws on the books or enforcing the ones we have so that we can determine the real scale of the problem. plus, biden today saying that the president will use executive order on gun laws. so what does that mean? what could the president do by executive order right now that would limit gun laws or expand them? we're going to get answers on that at the top of the hour. plus, we're going to talk about steroids in baseball. >> got a full show coming up. we'll be watching. thanks very much.
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>> thanks, wolf. coming up, a lion is on the loose in norfolk, virginia, although on second look, might just be a dog with a lion-style haircut. either way, it's a call 911 operator won't soon forget. are easy with free pickup [ mas from the u.s. postal service. we'll even drop off boxes if you need them. visit pay, print, and have it picked up for free. any time of year. ♪ nice sweater. thank you. ♪ humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement
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imagine the panic at a virginia 911 call center when the operators get a call that a lion is on the loose. >> oh, no, but now imagine their suprise to find out it's not a lion at all or a large cat. here's jeanne moos. >> reporter: we've seen a dog in a pet show in china made to look like a panda and a horse made to resemble a poodle. but this is the tale of the dog with such a convincing air cut that people thought he was a lion and called 911. an officer later told charlie the dog's owner -- >> and told to use deadly force. >> on a labradoodle? >> i tell people he's a lavalion. >> a mascot for old dominion
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university. not one, but three 911 calls came in tuesday reporting what looked like a lion on the loose. norfolk police called the virginia zoo to confirm that both of its lions were secured and accounted for. that's the siozoo's director po with charlie. the zoo started getting news media inquiries. it was just charlie taking a walk on his own. he and his owner live near the zoo. when people spot charlie walking there, they really freak out. >> i've seen him literally dive through the window to get in the car, thinking a lion is after them. >> in the wake of the 911 calls -- >> we're not going anywhere. >> charlie has become famous and his facebook page is getting a lion share of likes. we'd be lying if we said the color is natural. he gets his mane

The Situation Room
CNN January 9, 2013 1:00pm-4:00pm PST

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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